There is something magical, glittering, exhilerating and even at times slightly menacing about theatre and film posters and theatre districts around the world. These are places where people go to be vacuously entertained and transported to another realm they ordinarily can’t reach.
Posters and signs call out to patrons, beckoning them and cajoling them to come inside and to partake in the velventeen splendour. There’s something borderline obscene and pantingly sexual about some of these signs, as they at once invite in seductively as well as repel people. They are a fascinating relic of an age when Hollywood ruled people’s hearts and minds. An era before the internet with its two-way dialogue was even dreamt about. This was a time when people kept their own private thoughts to themselves and didn’t share everything publicly, and when the stories, narratives and cultural norms of people’s lives were dished out from a high pedestal of the cult of cinema. Were people more naive then or are people more naive now as a result of the internet?
It would be easy to look back with fondness at how things were then, you went to the cinema and you watched something and from this you gained another perspective on the world. This instead of now and the multiplied ways to perceive everything from a million different perspectives, avenues and channels. But is it easier or harder, more simple or more complex. I would say that sadly it’s harder and more complex to be a living being right now and to consume media than it ever has been before.
Predator film poster – 1980s
Times Square 1950s
Boys walking on Broadway, NYC late 70’s
Frankenstein – movie marquees from London, 1931.